Joint Stand-Off Weapon (JSOW)
Raytheon [RTN] produces the AGM-154A area-effect/ soft-target version of JSOW and is developing the AGM-154C unitary warhead/penetrator version in cooperation with BritainÃs BAE SYSTEMS, which provides the BROACH warhead and fuze components.
The warhead of the AGM-154A includes 154 BLU-97 "combined effects" submunitions, designed to destroy stationary "soft" targets such as air defense sites and light vehicles. The AGM-154C will attack "point targets," including command and control bunkers and industrial facilities. All versions of JSOW are glide weapons, deploying after release a set of wings to provide lift during free fall to their targets. The JSOWÃs guidance package includes a combined Global Positioning System receiver and inertial navigation system.
The U.S. Navy has used low-rate initial production versions of JSOW AGM-154A in combat; production of the weapon began in 1998 with earlier versions available for Operation Allied Force in 2000, as well as for operations during Operation Southern Watch and Operation Enduring Freedom. The weapon is intended for use with the NavyÃs Boeing [BA] F/A-18-series strike fighters as well as with the Air ForceÃs strike platforms including Lockheed MartinÃs [LMT] F-16C/D, BoeingÃs F-15E, B-1B bomber and B-52H bomber, as well as Northrop GrummanÃs [NOC] B-2A.
To date, the U.S. is the only operational user of JSOW, though Poland, Canada and Australia have expressed varying levels of interest in joining the program.
The AGM-154A, for the Navy and Air Force, and the AGM-154C, for the Navy only, remain the current program of record for developing and producing JSOW. The Air Force last year discovered a significant problem inhibiting JSOWÃs use aboard F-16 fighters, leading to a grounding of the weapon in that service until a newly-designed tail section could be developed for the missile. The new tail section has entered production this year. The Navy has continued to use AGM-154A aboard F/A-18C/D aircraft with supplies provided during low-rate initial production of the missile. The program office wants production of between 525 and 975 missiles per year to sustain a roughly $200,000 per unit cost. Since 1998 four lots of full-rate production have been ordered with quantities ranging from more than 300 missiles in a lot, to more than 400 missiles. The Air Force and Navy had planned to develop an AGM-154B version, which would have carried sub-munitions designed to destroy armor. The Air Force last year backed away from JSOW-B leaving the Navy with only remaining requirement in support of the anti-armor JSOW. Current plans are for naval operational test of JSOW-B to begin next year.